Winter hikes in the mountains intimidate us. Not so much the hiking itself — who doesn’t love tromping through a forest carpeted with snow? Rather, it’s simply getting to the trailhead. The prospect of icy mountain roads, of road closures, of other drivers who don’t know how to drive on icy roads. Why run the risk?
I’m suddenly compelled to do 5 hikes by year’s end. Check that, 5 hikes by the end of New Year’s Day, because one of the hikes I know I’ll do on New Year’s Day, to kick off 2023 and North Carolina’s Year of the Trail.
The reason for this sudden compulsion? Probably the fact that December can be so busy it’s easy to not hike. And that’s trouble, because this is precisely when you need to get out and hike — to deal with the stress of the season.
The Spring wildflower bloom has been going on for about a month and a half now. It kicked off with the maroon and yellow fingerling petals of the trout lily, the delicate white (and sometimes pink or purple) blossom of the spring beauty. Those have pretty much passed, and now we’re on to the bluets, ladyslippers, Dutchman’s breeches and more. The point? The show won’t last much longer, which is why today we’re recommending wildflower hikes for the coming weekend.
That’s what we’re about here at GetGoingNC.com: our guided hikes are intended to introduce you to new trails you can hike on your own, our classes give you the skills to confidently hike and backpack independently, and our trail guides, books and tutorials are likewise intended to activate and inform the explorer within.
We’re all about Spring this week, with the first sightings of trout lilies and spring beauties, and 70-degree weather in the wings. This should be the week that spring bursts out in all its eagerly awaited glory.
That said, today we crib from our GetHiking! Spring Wildflowers tip sheet and share some insights into where to look for spring and what it is you’re looking for.